Saturday, August 04, 2007


Pick a book and subscribe to the RSS feed, and they send you a short segment (takes about 5 minutes to read) as often as you like, for free. I would never pick up some of the classics on the site during the year, but in these bite-sized portions they become much more manageable. I'm reading The Hound of the Baskervilles first. :-)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Random observation about myself, for future reference:
I crave security and safety, but I do crazy and silly things. I just sent a long email to someone who used to be a big part of my life, but we haven't spoken in five years. I asked if he wanted to go get coffee and catch up. Where the heck did that come from? Other examples: going to school 12 hours away, my summer service program, encouraging my family to run out to the beach amid a thunderstorm.
Official conclusion: My mind makes no sense. If I were an android, my positronic net would be fused and I would have exploded by now.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Concentrated Summer

My normally several-month-long summer has been condensed into four weeks (at least the part involving family, high school friends, and stuff like that). I feel like the all-the-rage concentrated detergent bottles. Use half the liquid for the same kick. Anyway...

My family returned home today after three days at the beach. Perhaps it wasn't as extravagant as some years (blame Notre Dame, not me...) but at least I feel like I've fulfilled my Quality Time Quotient for a while, something that is often hard to do in the craziness of being home. Wanting to spend time with everyone makes it hard to be home sometimes. We walked/ran on the beach, avoided getting sunburned (most of the time), ate seafood and pizza and fudge, drank "fancy coffee," browsed shops in the village, read our books, watched lots of Star Trek episodes, and in general did our best to chill out.

We also almost got killed in a nasty thunderstorm... fortunately no one was electrocuted. We had just arrived Monday afternoon, and we of course had to go see the beach as soon as we got our stuff in the room... so we walked out, ignoring the drizzle that was increasing to a steady rain. It was about a two minute walk to the beach, past the pool and under trees. We made it to the beach, took note of the large and angry-looking storm clouds behind us, and hunkered under one of those metal-framed pop-up canopies some wiser family had abandoned. We were pretty much soaked and the beach was deserted. The choice was to try to make it back to the condo thing, through the rain now coming in sheets, towards the quickly-approaching lightning, or hope that it would blow over our heads momentarily. We stuck it out, playing it brave for Mark, with Dad chancing touching the metal frame once in a while to keep the canopy on the ground. It was pretty much incredible, especially because no one got hurt. Good times.

I've been busy trying to catch up with my high school friends too. Margy, Liana, and I met for Chickfila lunching goodness, and I saved Christine from agonizing over the finals for her summer classes at UGA by whisking her away for a picnic and free outdoor movie in downtown Decatur. The picnic was great, as were the desperately competitive rounds of Taboo between the two of us and Joey and Dan; the movie got viciously rained out (I seem to be getting soaked in freak storms a lot lately). We took refuge at Dan's house and watched Batman instead. I am now deeply in need of my Akeelah and the Bee fix, however; my family won't watch it with me. I was so psyched to see it and have been sadly disappointed. Takers?

Tonight brought some much-needed room-cleaning time. I never unpacked my college stuff when I came home in May, I just packed out of boxes for my summer. Now I have college stuff and summer suitcases to unpack and organize. I went through most of the "random stuff" boxes tonight, sorting out stuff that doesn't need to come back to school with me, and putting the re-packed boxes out of the way downstairs. The process inevitably involved sorting through the books-to-read-or-reread box, and now I'm shifting from foot to foot in anticipation of the books I want to read. I'm leaving about half at home. I should leave them all. I didn't read a single book for fun during last school year (breaks don't count). But how sad is a bookshelf full of just mandatory reading? I think my soul at least needs the promise of non-academic books. And now that I have accomplished one goal for the night (writing a mondo-huge and disjointed blog post (yes, my to-do list actually says those very words)) I think I'm going to indulge my insatiable written-word craving.

One last thing: I'm reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan on the high recommendation of many people, and I have to ask of those who've read it, what's with all the hype? I'm not impressed, but I'm holding out for that kick-butt chapter that makes it all worthwhile.